Derrick Walton

Atlantic Notes: G League Trades, Celtics Fan Survey, Sixers

The Raptors 905, the G League affiliate of Toronto, acquired Derrick Walton, Tremont Waters and a future first-round pick in exchange for David Johnson and a second-round pick from the Grizzlies‘ affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, according to Sportsnet’s Blake Murphy (Twitter link).

The trade marks an end for Johnson’s Raptors organization tenure after being selected with the No. 47 overall pick in the 2021 draft out of Louisville. Johnson played for the Raptors in his rookie season on a two-way deal. After that expired, he signed an Exhibit 10 deal with Toronto last season but didn’t crack the opening-day roster. He spent the remainder of the 2022/23 season with the 905. There were hopes that Johnson could develop into a lead guard off the bench for the Raptors, but that didn’t happen in Toronto and now he’ll get a chance to develop in Memphis.

Walton and Waters are both guards with 40 or more games of NBA experience. Walton made his debut in ’17/18 with the Heat and had stints with the Clippers and Pistons. He averaged 16.8 points and 9.4 assists in his last season in the G League, ’21/22, in 25 regular season games.

Waters played on a two-way deal with the Celtics for two seasons in a row as the No. 51 overall pick in the 2019 draft. He spent some time with the Raptors and Wizards on 10-day deals as well. The 5’10” guard holds career NBA averages of 3.7 points and 2.1 assists. Waters is currently tearing it up for Puerto Rico in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, averaging 16.7 points and 8.7 assists through three games.

G League trades that happen before the NBA’s training camps are worth noting. Usually, a trade such as this indicates one or more of the players involved will sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the parent club of the team trading for them. For example, Alondes Williams was traded from the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s affiliate, to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the affiliate of the Heat, and then signed a training camp deal with Miami about two weeks later.

It’s to be determined whether or not any of these players will spend training camps with NBA teams, but it is something to monitor going forward.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • A second G League trade took place on Thursday, with Long Island trading the returning player rights to RaiQuan Gray in exchange for the returning player rights to Jordan Hall from the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s affiliate, according to a press release. Gray signed a two-year, two-way contract with Brooklyn at the end of the ’22/23 season but was waived this offseason. In his lone appearance with the Nets, he put up 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Hall began last year with San Antonio on a two-way deal but he was cut shortly after the season began. He was then re-signed by the Spurs and subsequently waived again later that season. Hall averaged 3.1 points in nine NBA games last year.
  • The Celtics made several big moves this offseason after being eliminated from the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Jay King and Jared Weiss of The Athletic are taking the pulse of Celtics fans entering a season with high expectations in their annual survey. King and Weiss pose 30 questions in an expansive survey that’s open to The Athletic subscribers, including how fans feel about the Marcus Smart trade and Kristaps Porzingis‘ fit with the team. The results of the survey will be shared soon.
  • In a recent mailbag, Kyle Neubeck of the PhillyVoice discussed several topics related to what has shaped up to be a busy Sixers offseason. Despite Ben Simmons recently leaving the door open for a possible reunion with the Sixers, Neubeck doesn’t see that happening anytime soon. Neubeck also goes over Tyrese Maxey‘s All-Star candidacy for next season and beyond, as well as how he thinks Nick Nurse will develop the team’s young players like Jaden Springer.

Central Notes: Sexton, Nwora, Turner, Hield, Sykes

Collin Sexton‘s foray into restricted free agency could drag on into training camp or even the regular season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Talks between the Cavaliers and Sexton’s representatives have reportedly reached a standstill after the Cavs offered close to $40MM over three seasons.

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, Sexton’s agent, has shown no interest in settling for anything less than a “starting guard salary” in negotiations, Charania adds. Sexton, who missed last season after knee surgery, could sign his $7.2MM qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks GM Jon Horst hopes that Jordan Nwora‘s restricted free agency works out for both parties, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. Nwora must first figure out if he has a market around the league. Then, he can either sign an offer sheet that would force the Bucks to match or inform the Bucks of that interest and see if a trade is feasible.
  • The Pacers will inevitably trade both Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, as they’ve embraced a full rebuild, according to Bob Kravitz of The Athletic. Team president Kevin Pritchard isn’t in a rush to deal either player, but the Pacers are serious about opening up cap space and accumulating assets.
  • The Pacers’ G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, traded Keifer Sykes‘ rights to the Pistons’ affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, in exchange for the rights to Derrick Walton and Deividas Sirvydis, along with a 2023 second-round pick, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Sirvydis was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2019. The inclusion of the Cruise’s 2023 second-rounder signals that the Pistons and their affiliate expect Sykes to play in the G League in 2022/23. The 28-year-old appeared in 32 games with Indiana last season, averaging 5.6 PPG and 1.9 APG in 17.7 MPG.

And-Ones: Walton Jr., Yat, FA Winners/Losers, GL Ignite

The Sydney Kings of the Australian NBL have signed guard Derrick Walton Jr. to a one-year deal that includes NBA outs, the team announced in a press release.

After going undrafted out of Michigan in 2017, Walton signed a two-way deal with Miami and appeared in 16 games. He’s bounced around a bit in subsequent years, appearing in a total of 45 NBA games with the Heat, Clippers and Pistons, holding career averages of 2.2 PPG and 1.4 APG in 11.2 MPG.

Walton, 27, spent the majority of last season with Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, averaging 16.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 9.5 APG and 1.5 SPG on .505/.386/.813 shooting in 25 regular season games (36 MPG). He also had a brief 10-day hardship stint with his hometown Pistons, averaging 6.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 7.3 APG and 2.3 SPG on .231/.231/1.000 shooting in three games.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Kok Yat, who wasn’t selected in the 2022 draft a couple of weeks ago and became an unrestricted free agent, plans to return to Overtime Elite next season, a source tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Twitter link). Yat’s deal with OTE includes a free out that can be used at any time to sign a two-way or 10-day contract with NBA teams, per Givony. Yat is ranked No. 36 on ESPN’s list of the best undrafted prospects.
  • Cydney Henderson and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (subscriber link) list their early winners and losers of free agency thus far. According to Henderson and Zillgitt, the Warriors and Nets are among the early losers, while the Timberwolves and Sixers are among the early winners.
  • Sources tell Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link) that the G League Ignite could be on the move. The Ignite squad is currently headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, but “are likely” relocating to Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas, says Spears.

Eastern Notes: Johnson, Celtics, Wizards, Sabonis, Walton, Sixers

The Celtics won’t retain veteran guard Joe Johnson past his first 10-day hardship contract, head coach Ime Udoka said, as relayed by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Udoka believes Johnson could still sign another deal in the NBA, but Boston has had players clear the health and safety protocols since signing him. Johnson only appeared in one game, logging just under two minutes and making his only shot attempt.

As Washburn notes (via Twitter), Boston would have to make another roster move or lose additional players to protocols in order to retain Johnson. The 40-year-old now enters free agency as an 18-year NBA veteran, owning 1,397 games of experience between the regular season and playoffs.

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe says not to be surprised if the Wizards kick the tires on Pacers center Domantas Sabonis prior to this season’s trade deadline. Lowe views Washington as a good candidate to make a consolidation trade, since the team has plenty of depth and could use a running mate for Bradley Beal.
  • Pistons guard Derrick Walton is living his hometown dream by playing with the franchise, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes. Walton, 26, is currently on a 10-day hardship deal with the organization.
  • The Sixers appear to be ready to overcome adversity and compete for a championship, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Philadelphia remains firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff picture despite dealing with a series of injuries, COVID-19 cases, and Ben Simmons‘ absence. The team’s ceiling could increase significantly if Simmons returns or is traded for quality pieces.

Pistons Add Derrick Walton, Cassius Stanley On 10-Day Contracts

2:21pm: The deals for both guards are now official, according to an official statement from the Pistons (via Twitter).

2:08pm: Guards Derrick Walton and Cassius Stanley are expected to sign 10-day deals with the Pistons via hardship exceptions, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Walton and Stanley logged some preseason run with Detroit before ultimately being waived ahead of the 2021/22 NBA season. They were most recently playing for Detroit’s NBAGL affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.

Stanley, a 6’5″ shooting guard, is averaging 9.6 PPG and 4.4 RPG for the Cruise, with a shooting line of .380/.256/.600. The 22-year-old was selected with the No. 54 pick by the Pacers in 2020 out of Duke.

The 6’0″ point guard Walton, 26, went undrafted out of Michigan in 2017. He has logged time with the Heat, Clippers, and Pistons. Walton also has played internationally, with Lithuanian club Žalgiris Kaunas and later German club Alba Berlin.

In 12 games for Motor City, Walton is averaging 13.6 PPG, 7.7 APG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.3 SPG. He holds shooting averages of .416/.365/.765 with the G League club.

The 5-26 club could use all the help it can get. Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Saben Lee, Rodney McGruder, and Isaiah Stewart are among the Pistons in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Detroit is also without star forward Jerami Grant, still dealing with a thumb injury; big man Kelly Olynyk, absent due to a grade-2 MCL sprain; and Isaiah Livers, who continues to be day-to-day while he works on his conditioning.

Keep tabs on the league’s various coronavirus-related absences via our daily tracker.

Pistons Waive Derrick Walton, Cassius Stanley, Jared Cunningham

The Pistons have waived guards Derrick Walton, Cassius Stanley and Jared Cunningham, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link). All three players were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts and could play for the team’s G League affiliate this season.

The moves bring Detroit’s roster count down to 17 players, including two on two-way contracts (Jamorko Pickett and Chris Smith). The Pistons open the regular season against the Bulls on Wednesday.

As for Walton (26), Stanley (22) and Cunningham (30), all three can earn $50k if they spend at least 60 days with Detroit’s G League team. They could also opt to sign overseas if an intriguing offer is presented.

Pistons Re-Sign Deividas Sirvydis, Fill 20-Man Roster

The Pistons have re-signed guard/forward Deividas Sirvydis after waiving him in July, the team announced today (via Twitter). Detroit also confirmed its previouslyreported agreements with guards Cassius Stanley and Derrick Walton, officially filling its 20-man roster for training camp.

A Lithuanian wing, Sirvydis was the No. 37 pick in the 2019 draft and was stashed for a year overseas before signing his first NBA contract in the 2020 offseason. His rookie season was uninspiring, as he played limited minutes in 20 games, averaging 2.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 6.7 MPG. The Pistons released him just ahead of free agency.

Stanley and Walton received non-guaranteed deals and it seems like a safe bet that Sirvydis did as well, since there’s no clear path for him to make the regular season roster. Detroit has 15 players on guaranteed deals, with Chris Smith and Jamorko Pickett on two-way contracts.

Given that Sirvydis opted for a training camp deal with the Pistons over a return to Europe, he may intend to play for Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise, in 2021/22. If so, his contract likely includes Exhibit 10 language that would put him in line for a bonus worth up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Cruise.

Pistons Waive Anthony Tarke, Announce Camp Roster

The Pistons have waived rookie wing Anthony Tarke, according to the NBA’s transactions log. The team also released its initial roster for training camp.

Tarke bounced around a bit in college, starting at NJIT before transferring to UTEP and Coppin State. He put up an eye-popping 2.6 SPG and 1.9 BPG as a senior for Coppin State, but his shooting stroke might need some work. He most recently suited up for the Pistons’ Summer League squad.

Tarke signed a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract last week that makes him eligible to receive up to $50K if he spends at least 60 days with the Pistons’ G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.

The Pistons sit at 17 players under contract for training camp, with reported deals with Derrick Walton Jr. and Cassius Stanley not yet official — there’s been no indication that those agreements have fallen through, so they’ll likely be finalized later in training camp or the preseason.

Derrick Walton Jr. To Sign Exhibit 10 Contract With Pistons

Veteran point guard Derrick Walton Jr. is set to sign an Exhibit 10 contract for a reunion with the Pistons, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Walton was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree during his NCAA tenure with Michigan. After going undrafted in 2017, Walton saw his first NBA action on a two-way contract for the Heat. He played 16 games with Miami in the 2017/18 season, averaging 1.8 PPG, 1.0 APG and 1.0 RPG in 9.2 MPG.. He was far more productive with the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 16.1 PPG, 7.0 APG, 4.0 RPG and 1.4 SPG in 27 games, all starts.

During the 2018/19 season, the 6’0″ guard first joined Lithuanian club Žalgiris Kaunas. He parted ways with the team in February 2019, next linking up with Alba Berlin for the remainder of their year.

In the past, Walton has been able to parlay a training camp deal into an NBA call-up. He returned to the league during the 2019/20 season, inking an Exhibit 10 deal with the Clippers after a solid 2019 Summer League showing. Walton eventually made the team’s 15-man roster and ultimately suited up for 23 games with the Clippers, plus seven games with their NBAGL affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers. In a cash-saving move, Los Angeles sent Walton the Hawks in February 2020, where he was subsequently waived. He joined the Pistons on a 10-day contract, making a three-game cameo with Detroit. Walton averaged 2.0 PPG, 1.0 APG and 0.6 RPG during his 26 games played during the season overall.

Walton inked a training camp deal with the Sixers ahead of the 2020/21 season, but was released by the club before the start of the year. He then pivoted to an international option, signing a one-year contract with French EuroLeague club ASVEL.

Most recently, Walton suited up for the Wizards’ 2021 Summer League club.

Southeast Notes: Bamba, Oubre, Gill, Wizards

Mohamed Bamba won’t play for the Magic when Summer League starts on Sunday, but he’s practicing with his teammates in Las Vegas, writes Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel. The third-year center got a path to regular minutes for the first time in his career when Orlando unloaded its veteran centers last spring and turned the position over to Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr.

“For me it was no-brainer,” Bamba said of his decision to come to Las Vegas. “We got a new coach, new system, new guys and I just wanted to get well acclimated way before training camp.”

Jamahl Mosley, who has taken over as head coach, said this week that it was encouraging to see Bamba join the team on his own. Bamba said he’s looking forward to playing under Mosley.

“He’s made it clear that my presence (on the floor) is needed, is wanted and it’s just all about getting out there and putting in the right amount of work,” Bamba said. “Practicing with the team only helps the chemistry of the team. Coming out here … I had a choice, either to stay in Orlando and work with the coaches that didn’t come to Summer League or come here and add in these good deposits from the team.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Free agent forward Kelly Oubre received offers from eight other teams before deciding to sign with the Hornets, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Oubre’s agent, Torrel Harris of Unique Sports International Management, says the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets, Nets, Trail Blazers and Cavaliers all presented offers to Oubre.
  • Today marked the guarantee date for Wizards power forward Anthony Gill, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. Gill will make $1,517,981 in 2021/22, giving Washington 13 fully guaranteed contracts. That doesn’t include center Daniel Gafford, whose $1,782,621 won’t be guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 7.
  • Wizards Summer League players Cassius Winston, Issuf Sanon and Isaiah Todd have all been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). Their replacements include former NBA players Cheick Diallo and Derrick Walton Jr. (Twitter link)